News/Elections 2020

Fri Oct. 2nd 2020


The detention of Asylum Seekers in prison facilities

This is very rarely used and only where there are doubts about their identity and or whether they are considered a security risk and must be considered by a District Court Judge who will if appropriate issue a warrant of commitment for up to 28 days.

Your party's stance on work rights for Asylum Seekers who are in the process of their claim being assessed by immigration agencies,

National supports asylum seekers being able to apply for a work visa and this was made possible under a National Government.

Resettlement support for Convention Refugees.

The policy for Convention Asylum Seekers was changed under a National Government so that applicants could obtain work rights to sustain themselves while their application is processed. Most Convention Asylum seekers are applying from within a community they have links too and in addition I am aware of a number of charitable organisations that support them.


The detention of Asylum Seekers in prison facilities

The Green Party takes seriously its humanitarian responsibility to assist refugees and people seeking asylum. As a member of the international community, the Green Party believes that Aotearoa New Zealand should ensure that all refugees and asylum seekers are treated humanely, with detention only used in exceptional cases, where a genuine security risk can be identified based on evidence.

Detention of asylum seekers based on the lack of travel or identity documents never in and of itself constitutes a security risk. Sanction of asylum seekers for failure to produce such documents is unlawful pursuant to New Zealand and international law. The Green Party have raised the issue of unlawful and arbitrary detention of asylum seekers with the Immigration Minister in Government and will continue to fight to end this practice.

Your party's stance on work rights for Asylum Seekers who are in the process of their claim being assessed by immigration agencies:

We believe asylum seekers should be afforded the right to work and support themselves while their claim is processed. Asylum seekers must be paid fair wages by Aotearoa New Zealand standards and have the benefit of our social and health services. They should have all the employment relationship protections provided by the Employment Relations Act and other relevant legislation.

The Green Party would also like to:

· Fund specialist employment services to find appropriate work for refugees and immigrants.

· Raise awareness amongst employers about the benefits of employing refugees.

· Put employment guidelines in place to ensure that job applicants who are immigrants or refugees are not discriminated against.

· Ensure that relevant Government agencies are sufficiently resourced to enforce this.

Resettlement support for Convention Refugees:

The Green Party is committed to comprehensive resettlement support for refugees, with support beginning when the asylum seekers make their initial claim. The Green Party will make sure immigrants feel welcome, settled and supported with resettlement programmes, such as provided by the Red Cross, to a high standard of service.

We will:

· Continue the priority consideration for housing given to refugees by Housing New Zealand.

· Ensure crucial social services are accessible to all refugees across the country.

· Ensure the one-off resettlement grant administered for refugees by Work and Income provides meaningful assistance in setting up a new home.

· Encourage collaboration between interested tangata whenua and refugee resettlement programmes to assist with resettlement.

· Increase funding of community centres throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to cater for the needs of refugee communities.

· Ensure the involvement of local multicultural organisations in each region in aiding the resettlement of refugees.


Resettlement support for Convention Refugees

We've been proud in this term to play our part in international humanitarian work to provide support and protection to refugees, and to celebrate those that make New Zealand their home. New Zealand benefits greatly from them, and their potential. We are the ones that get that skill, that education and that wide verity of experience.

This term, we have made an historic increase to the annual quota of refugees, lifting the quota from 1,000 to 1,500. We know that we must continue doing our bit to help some of the most vulnerable people. We must continue to accept and look after refugees and play our part in the rescue of people who are fleeing oppressive regimes.

The benefits of being tolerant and inclusive are enormous, both culturally and economically, so we need to continue to make the right choices, and continue to contribute to a modern New Zealand that is inclusive and tolerant and welcoming. We're proud of the work we've done to make New Zealand inclusive, tolerant and welcoming, but we know there's still more work to do.

The detention of Asylum Seekers in prison facilities

Most asylum seekers are able to live in the community while their claims are being assessed. The circumstances Asylum Seekers can find themselves in can sometimes require the use of custodial facilities, for example when the asylum seeker is already serving a custodial sentence or is identified to pose a high risk to the community.

In general, however, while a claim is being processed an asylum seeker can live in the community, use health care in New Zealand and apply for a work visa to get a job. If their children are with them, they can be enrolled at a school.

Your party's stance on work rights for Asylum Seekers who are in the process of their claim being assessed by immigration agencies

They should continue to have the ability to apply for a temporary work visa.